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News U16

News U16

Chemical composition of explanted deteriorated nephrostomy polyurethane-catheters through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

Researchers of Nanbiosis U16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit of CIBER-BBN and University of Extremadura in Badajoz, are the authors of an article published by Materials Chemistry and Physics,

The researchers studied the surface chemical information of thirteen used catheters that had remained in patients for two months, using the XPS technique with the purpose of this communication is to report.
Compositional changes in relation to unused catheters provided information on the degree of the chemical degradation suffered. ATR-IR
added information on the chemical characterization of the samples
and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis will advise on topographical changes.

The XPS technique is optimum to analyzed the surface chemical composition of medical polymer device. Applied to the ureteral catheters, XPS shows on the surface of damaged catheters calcium and other ions from urine. XPS was performed by the ICTS “NANBIOSIS”, more specifically by the Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit of the CIBER in Bioengineering, Biomaterials & Nanomedicne (CIBERBBN)
and the SACSS-SAIUEx of the University of Extremadura (UEx)

Ureteral catheters are a fundamental part of the modern urologist’s armamentarium. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used for the first time as a powerful analytical tool for the study of the chemical
composition of nephrostomy catheters retrieved from patients who had undergone nephrostomy to detect their chemical deterioration inside the human body. Depth profile analysis provided not only the composition of the surface but also that of the catheter bulk. The results obtained by XPS showed the presence of calcium and other ions, such as phosphorus, sulphur and fluorine in the explanted deteriorated catheters. The detection of barium on the surface of all the retrieved catheters has special relevance. This chemical element is usually incorporated as a radiomarker in the catheter polymeric matrix and its diffusion from the bulk material to the surface must be responsible for its XPS detection. The accumulation of high levels of this element from toxic barium salts in cases of urine drainage failure could lead to its adsorption from the surrounding tissues into the patient’s body, thus compromising the safety concentrations of this soft alkaline earth metal.

Article of reference:

Chemical composition of explanted deteriorated nephrostomy polyurethane-catheters through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy María Fernández-Grajera, Margarita Hierro-Oliva, Luis Fernández-deAlarcón, Amparo M.Gallardo-Moreno. Materials Chemistry and Physics Volume 239,  2020, 121979 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matchemphys.2019.121979

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New equipment for calorimetry and surface characterization for NANBIOSIS U16

NANBIOSIS unit 16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit form CIBER-BBN and University of Extremadura offers the performance of tasks of physical-chemical characterization of surfaces using techniques such as ellipsometry, calorimetry, X-ray photoelectronic spectroscopy (XPS) and detection of secondary ions by means of mass spectrometry by time of flight (Tof-SIMS). Recently, new equipment acquired through the execution an investment of 1.3 million euros, cofinanced with FEDER funds, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and Junta de Extremadura, Regional Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Agency, througth the project FICTS1420-14-09. These equipments are a microdroplet and picodroplet contact angle goniometry system and an optical profilometry system.

Equipment acquired


This system allows to measure contact angles automatically, controlling by software, the deposition of drops of different liquids, their analysis and the orientation of the substrate, as well as pending drops. In addition, the microdroplet system has a tilting base that allows the samples to be tilted by at least 90o. It also includes a thermostatic chamber, for temperature changes of the sample with a range between 5 and 90 ºC, and a chamber for humidity control.

Obtaining surface tension, through contact angle measurements, is a factor to consider in technologies of biomedical interest such as implants and other materials that must be in contact with biological fluids. In these systems the contact angle is related to the wettability, the hydrophobicity of the surface and the adhesion capacity of substances such as proteins or other compounds on the surfaces.

In the case of pico-droplet measurements, the system allows to very precisely dose drops much smaller than in the previous case, which can be as low as 20 picoliters, as well as to analyze their shape to measure the contact angle. This fact solves the problem of measuring wettability in very small structures, such as capillaries, microchips, joints created in the union of two materials, etc.


The system allows the roughness of a multitude of surfaces to be measured by an optical method that does not make any changes to the sample. With the operating base of a confocal microscope commonly used in different fields of science, it allows to create high-resolution 3D images quickly and automatically, as well as obtaining color images thanks to the use of three LEDs: Red, Green and Blue. With the available objectives, it is possible to measure from more macroscopic samples such as screws used as dental implants to be able to observe bacterial colonies composed of bacteria the size of a micron. This will make it possible to measure the roughness of any sample covering the range of roughness between a magnifying glass, which gives a more macroscopic view, and the atomic force microscope capable of measuring nanometric roughness (10 ^ -9 m). In addition, this equipment also works as an interferometer that allows to measure the roughness with greater precision of mirror polished samples in a simple way, obtaining images of higher resolution than any confocal technique.

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II Conference on Nanotoxicity, organised by Nanomed Spain, NANBIOSIS and Materplat, Sept. 22

NANBIOSIS is organizing an on-line Conference on Nanotoxicity in collaboration with Nanomed Spain and Materplat, next September 22, to debate about the efect of nanotoxicity of nanoparticles and nanotechnologies in health.

Nanotechnology, a science involved in the design, production, and use of structures and objects that have at least one of their dimensions on the scale of 100 nanometers or less, is enabling progress to be made in various areas with far-reaching repercussions. scope for society. Currently, there are several areas in which nanotechnology is under development or even in the practical application phase.

However, manufactured nanoparticles can have very different properties and effects than those of the same materials in conventional sizes, which can pose new risks to human and other species’ health. Some nanoparticles, which are used as a vehicle for the drugs to reach the desired cells in greater quantity, to reduce the side effects of the drug in other organs or for both, have the same dimensions as certain biological molecules and can interact with them.

The increase in potential health risks has created a new discipline, nanotoxicity, that is, the study of toxicity produced by the effect of nanoparticles and nanomaterials. The objective of this conference, co-organized by the advanced materials and nanomaterials platform (MATERPLAT), NANBIOSIS ICTS and the nanomedicine platform (Nanomed Spain), is to learn more about the lines that are being followed in research in the area of ​​nanotoxicity, the progress of different projects in this field, as well as existing tools to understand and reduce the toxicity of nanoparticles and nanomaterials.

The event will count with the expertise of Marisa Gonzalez, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit, speaking about Surface characterization of micro and nanoplastics among other experts.

The assistance is free but it is necessary to register. For further information, agenda and registration click here 

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Scientific trends with the participation of NANBIOSIS expertise

Within the series of virtual conferences organized during the months of May, June and July by the Extremaduran office, two researchers of NANBIOSIS are invited speakers: Laura M. Lechuga Gómez, NANBIOSIS Unit 4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit (form CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC); and María Coronada Fernández Calderón NANBIOSIS U16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit (from CIBER-BBN and University of Extremadura)who will talk about technologies at the service of health.

The cycle ’90 minutes for Science, for innovation to bring society closer to the latest scientific trends, starts next Wednesday, May 27, at 5:00 p.m. It will deal with topics such as biomedical research and its influence on the improvement of early diagnosis of diseases (the director of the Department of Immunology and Oncology of the CSIC National Biotechnology Center, Ana Cuenda Méndez, will offer a conference on the role of proteins in inflammatory, infectious and cancer processes, and the engineer in Molecular Biotechnology and principal investigator in the Laboratory of Medical Biotechnology of the Austral University of Chile, Alejandro Rojas-Fernández, will address the generation of nano-antibodies against emerging viruses, such as COVID19), ethics in the face of the challenges of artificial intelligence.

Registration, open and free, can now be formalized on the website of the Office for Innovation.

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Unit 16 of NANBIOSIS will expand its capabilities with cofinancing of FEDER funds

On October 25, the Monitoring Commission of the agreement signed on July 15 was established by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and the University of Extremadura for the acquisition of new equipment that will expand the capabilities of Unit 16 of NANBIOSIS.

One of the 26 Units that constitute NANBIOSIS is Unit 16 “Unit of Surface Characterization and Calorimetry” of CIBER-BBN and the University of Extremadura. The application of this FEDER cofinancing will allow the expansion of the capabilities of this unit for the chemical, physicochemical, and topographic characterization of surfaces, improving the competences in mass spectrometry by time of flight of secondary ions (TOF-SIMS), photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and extending them to the profilometry goniometry and goniometry. The requested equipment will be located on the Badajoz campus of the University of Extremadura, where Unit 16 of NANBIOSIS is located.

The total budget of the project is € 1,380,000, 80% of which are co-financed with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) corresponding to the Spanish Multi-Regional Operational Program 2014-2020, allocated to the General Secretariat for Coordination of Scientific Policy of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities destined to finance projects and actions related to infrastructures included in the current ICTS Map. The remaining 20% ​​is contributed by the Junta de Extremadura.

Further information here

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Agreement signed with Spanish Goverment for the allocation of FEDER funds for NANBIOSIS ICTS

In the framework of the FEDER Program in ICTS 2014-2020, a projects related to the ICTS NANBIOSIS has been selected by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities for co-financing with FEDER funds of the European Regional Development Funds program.

An agreement has been signed between Ministry of Science, Innovation and University of Extremadura, institution that houses NANBIOSIS unit 16 for the co-financing of the Project FICTS1420-14-09: “Compra e instalación y puesta a punto de equipamiento de caracterización para complementar la Unidad 16 de NANBIOSIS – Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit –NANBIOSISU16”.

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NANBIOSIS Scientific Women in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to raise awareness of the gender gap in science and technology.

According to the United Nations, while yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science, science and gender equality are vital to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Thus, in recent years, the international community has made a great effort to inspire and promote the participation of women and girls in science.

NANBIOSIS wants to acknowledge  the efforts made by scientific women who struggle every day to contribute their bit to Science and highlight their essential role in nowadays research. Especially we want to recognize the work of scientists women involved in our units, whatever is the nature of their contribution: technical, scientific development, management, coordination, direction, etc; just to mention some examples:
Neus Ferrer in the Scientific Direction of Unit 1 Protein Production Platform (PPP)
Pilar Marco and Nuria Pascual in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) 
Miriam Royo in the Scientific Direction of U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit
Laura Lechuga and M.Carmen Estevez in the Direction and Scientific Coordination of U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit
Nora Ventosa and Nathaly Segovia in the Scientific Direction and Technical Coordination of U6 Biomaterial Processing and Nanostructuring Unit
Isabel Oliveira and Teresa Galán in the Coordination of U7 Nanotecnology Unit
Rosa Villa and Gemma Gabriel in the Management and Scientific Coordination of U8 Micro – Nano Technology Unit
Gema Martínez in the Scientific Coordination of U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit
Fany Peña in the Scientific Coordination of U13 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Mª Luisa González Martín in the of Direction and Scientific Coordination of U16 Tissue & Scaffold Characterization Unit
Gemma Pascual and Isabel Trabado in the Coordination of the U17 Confocal Microscopy Service
Mª Virtudes Céspedes in the Scientific Coordination of U18 Nanotoxicology Unit
Beatriz Moreno in the Scientific Direction of Unit 19 Clinical tests lab
Ibane Abásolo in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 20 In Vivo Experimental Platformt
Verónica Crisóstomo in the Scientific Direction of Unit 24 Medical Imaging 
Ana Paula Candiota in the Scientific Coordination of Unit 25 Biomedical Applications I 
Maria Luisa García in the Scientific Direction of U28 NanoImaging Unit from Bionand, recently incorporated to NANBIOSIS

Thanks to all of you and your teams!

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STRYKER & NANBIOSIS start a promising line of biomedical research collaboration

On January 23-24th a two-day meeting between NANBIOSIS and Stryker Trauma GmbH, took place at the Carlos III Health Institute, in Madrid, to explore synergies and potential joint initiatives.  

Nils Reimers and Robin Buescher from Stryker, presented some of their research and upcoming projects in the field of trauma medical devices, and representatives from NANBIOSIS’ units -Marisa González from U16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit, Teresa Galán from U7, Nanotechnology Unit, Gemma Pascual from U17 Confocal Microscopy Service, from CIBER-BBN, Marisa García from U28 (Bionand) and José Francisco Guillén and Francisco Sanchez Margallo from the units of the Jesús Usón Minimum Invasive Surgery Center (CCMIJU) , together with Jesús, Izco Executive Director of NANBIOSIS and Ramon Martínez, Scientific Director of CIBER-BBN- explained their technologies.

The second day, the meeting location was moved to the CCMIJU in Cáceres, to visit the Center facilities and continue conversations.

All attendees expressed their satisfaction with the development of the meeting and agreed to continue with the explorations in forthcoming meetings.

Photo caption: From left to right: José Francisco Guillén (Quality Guarantee Manager of CCMIJU),  Jesús Izco (NANBIOSIS Executive Director), Francisco Sanchez Margallo (Scientific Director of CCMIJU), Nils Reimers (Senior Manager R&D – Stryker Trauma GmbH), Robin Buescher (Director R&D Stryker Trauma GmbH), Margarita Casado (Management Staff of NANBIOSIS)”

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Marisa González, Scientific Director of Unit 16 of NANBIOSIS, candidate to the Rectorate of the University of Extremadura

Marisa González, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 16 Surface Characterization and Calorimetry Unit, runs for elections to the Rectorate of the University of Extremadura, to be held on November 27.

Marisa González, Professor of Applied Physics in the Faculty of Sciences and the Group Leader of  Microbial Adhesion research group of CIBER-BBN at University of Extremadura, she works with implants and materials on contact with body fluids and tissues, such as blood or bones, and the importance of knowing how these surfaces interact with proteins and molecules in the blood, and how they would do it in case of that bacteria could arrive that could cause infections in our organism.

In addition to teaching and research, Marisa has experience in the management of the University of Extremadura, she has been, for example, director of the departments of Physics and Applied Physics. In these sense, although Marisa González already stressed that she would not flag her condiction of woman, the truth is that if she wins she would be the first woman to lead the UEx. In fact, it is the first time that there is a female candidate.

In the picture members of CIBER-BBN and NANBIOSIS for Marisa to the UEX in postive!


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NANBIOSIS ICTS invites groups and companies to discuss Smart Biomaterials and devices for Drug Delivery

On February 22nd, the National School of Health of the Carlos III Health Institute hosted the forum on Smart Biomaterials and biomedical devices for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine, organized by the ICTS Nanbiosis, an infrastructure shared by the CIBER-BBN and the Center of Minimally Invasive Surgery Jesus Usón (CCMIJU). This is the first groups/companies meeting organized by Nanbiosis, in which about 70 B2B meetings  were held.

The meeting brought together about 40 participants from 14 research groups (from the CIBER-BBN and the CCMIJU) and 10 companies, which discussed the latest advances in the research lines developed by the groups and platforms of Nanbiosis and on the needs and demands of the industry in smart biomaterials and devices for targeted drug delivery and regenerative medicine.

Jesus Izco, Coordinator of Nanbiosis, presented the new Cutting-Edge Biomedical Solutions“, soon available on the ICTS website. These are integrated solutions to advanced challenges in nanomedicine, biomaterials, medical device, and diagnostic that can be developed by several units under a  one-stop shop model, optimized with the experience and scientific and technical knowledge of the research groups of excellence that manage the involved units. Some of the Cutting-edge biomedical solutions presented in the meeting were preclinical validation of biomaterials, mechanical and surface characterization, biocompatibility and studies of biofilm formation and infections.

The CIBER-BBN prsentations were: “Instructive materials for regenerative medicine” by Miguel Ángel Mateos (NANBIOSIS U5 IP: Elisabeth Engel); “Molecular biomaterials for drug delivery and biomedical applications” byNathaly Veronica Segovia (NANBIOSIS U6 / IP Jaume Veciana and Nora Ventosa); “Advances with micro-nano technologies for in vitro devices and point of care” by Rosa Villa (NANBIOSIS U8 ); “Development of new dosage forms for advanced therapies based on new biomaterials” by José Luis Pedraz (NANBIOSIS U10); “Contact lenses functionalized for the prevention of corneal infections” by Jordi Esquena (NANBIOSIS U12 / IP Carlos Rodríguez); “Combined in-silico and in-vitro models of the cell microenvironment and drug delivery effects in cancer and tissue engineering applications” by Fany Peña (NANBIOSIS U13 / IP Miguel Á. Martínez); “Surface of the biomaterial: the first contact with our body” by  Marisa González (NANBIOSIS U16 ); “Use of biomaterials for the repair of soft tissue defects” by Bárbara Pérez Khöler (NANBIOSIS U17 / IP J M. Bellón and Gemma Pascual); “Controlled release systems based on mesoporous materials with molecular doors for applications in therapy and diagnosis” by Ramón Martínez Máñez (NANBIOSIS U26); “New intelligent devices and biomaterials for the treatment of pathologies of the retina and the nervous system” (Eduardo Fernández); and “Near-infrared responsive scaffolds for biomedical applications” (Nuria Vilaboa).

On the part of the CCMJU, the presentations were the following: “Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in preclinical models for surgical and cardiovascular research” by Javier García Casado (NANBIOSIS U14); “Regenerative medicine in animal models of cutaneous healing and diabetic models” by Beatriz Moreno (NANBIOSIS U19); “Preclinical studies of biomaterials” by Idoia Díaz-Güemes (NANBIOSIS U21 /IP: FM Sánchez Margallo); “Porcine model of myocardial infarction as a translational research platform in regenerative medicine” by Verónica Crisóstomo (NANBIOSIS U24).

In the turn of the companies, they presented some collaboration opportunities AJL, i-Vascular, Praxis Pharmaceutical, Technical Proteins Nanobiotechnology and REGEMAT 3D; and they also participated in the Rovi, Viscofan, Biomag and Biogelx Laboratories forum.

These meetings, where links are established between research groups and companies, address issues of business and scientific interest, allowing direct contacts between researchers and business managers.

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